This morning at Shildon, we have had Kit Spackman of the APT-E support group up to visit. Kit developed the tilt mechanism for the train (hence his nickname) and has a phenomenal amount of knowledge, history and stories about the train. He has been working with Richard Pearson these last few months to devise some “anti-tilt” blocks to stabilise the train now it is not in service and marshalled into one unit. Once that is done, the Support Group can regain access to the train and continue their excellent conservation work. We hope to have the cab open in June, so keep an eye out on progress. If you’d like to know more or even join the group, have a look at Paul Leadley’s site at: http://www.apt-e.org/support/support.htm . The picture shows two of the blocks being trial fitted to see how they need to be trimmed to fit in properly.
Kit has produced some display boards on E Train as it is known, and he had these out today whilst he was working on the train. Kit is seen on the right in the hat, as he explains the history of the train to a friend of mine, Michael Ablett, who was visiting today.
Outside, Richard Pearson had the J72 in steam for testing, and here he brings it into the platform at the collections building whilst fault finding. It seems to go well, but as ever, a few tweaks will be needed.
Having made sure that the wheels went round, and, more importantly, stopped, Richard invited me on to the engine and let me see if I could make it go. The reflection off the new paint is amazing as we drift down towards the yard throat at Shildon in this shot. The loco is a credit to the NELPG team who overhauled it, and it will look grand on the site service at Shildon this summer.